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With enhanced safety, more films will be shot in Kashmir, Benefit locals: Amitabh Kant

Amitabh Kant, India’s G20 Sherpa and former NITI Aayog CEO, emphasized that with enhanced safety measures, more films will be shot in Kashmir, benefiting the local populace. Speaking at the Tourism Development Conclave-2024 at the SKICC in Srinagar, Kant highlighted the valley’s significance in Indian storytelling and its potential for increased film production.

Kant assured reporters that the safety and security necessary for such activities have been ensured in Kashmir. He pointed out that several renowned filmmakers, including Kabir Khan, Imtiaz Ali, Vishal Bharadwaj, and Sanjay Suri, have already shot successful films in the region. Their works have contributed to the growing number of film projects in the valley.

Highlighting recent high-profile visits, Kant mentioned cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar playing cricket on the streets of Kashmir, delighting locals and showcasing the region’s welcoming environment. He also referenced Bollywood actors Ajay Devgn and Jackie Shroff’s positive interactions with the Kashmiri people during their shoots, as well as visits by veteran actresses Waheeda Rehman, Asha Parekh, and Helen.

Kant believes that Kashmir will become a central element in Indian cinema, attracting filmmakers from across the country. He stated that such an influx would not only promote the region but also contribute significantly to its economy, benefiting the local community.

Asked about the potential impact of the tourism conclave, Kant expressed optimism about an economic boom in Kashmir. He reiterated that safety and security have been prioritized, ensuring that the people of Kashmir will be the primary beneficiaries of increased tourism and film activities.

Actor-producer Sanjay Suri, who was present at the conclave, echoed Kant’s sentiments. He emphasized that events like the conclave help boost tourism by addressing challenges and highlighting opportunities. Suri, a native of Srinagar, stressed the need for infrastructure and support to sustain this growth.

Suri also suggested decentralizing tourism to alleviate the congestion in popular areas like Srinagar, Gulmarg, and Pahalgam. He noted the rising number of tourists and vehicles, advocating for the development of other beautiful but less-known regions in Kashmir to spread the benefits of tourism more evenly.

In conclusion, Suri expressed his belief that many Indian filmmakers would be eager to shoot in Kashmir, drawing a parallel with the year-round film activities in Goa. He emphasized that with the right support, Kashmir could become a prominent destination for film production throughout the year.

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